Met Eireann weather charts for the cold snap.
Met Éireann has warned motorists about the potential for pileups caused by hail which will be a feature of the cold snap that is set to bite Ireland.
The forecaster issued the advice in a weather commentary published on the cold weather which is expected to bring snow to parts and also lead to widespread frost as temperatures plummet.
"A significant change in our weather pattern will occur this week with a cold polar maritime airmass sweeping across the country. A cold front will extend southeastwards across Ireland Tuesday night and this will mark the beginning of a noticeably colder and more wintry spell of weather," said the commentary.
Met Éireann says the change in weather is being caused by the amplification of the polar jetstream over the North Atlantic which is helping the development of a blocking high-pressure system which will extend from the Azores to Greenland.
"This will enable polar air flood southwards towards Ireland and northwestern Europe. However, as this cold air moves over the relatively warm seas of the North Atlantic, the depth of cold will be modified resulting in a wintry mix with snowfall mainly restricted to high ground, but with some snowfall to lower levels possible at times later this week," it said.
So what does Met Éireann say we can we expect?
"From Wednesday onwards it is going to feel much colder than recently with a strong west and northwest wind developing bringing an added wind-chill factor. Daytime temperatures will be in low single figures and night-time temperatures will be around zero or lower at times.
"There’ll be a mix of sunny/clear spells and showers, most of the showers will be of rain and hail but some will turn wintry, particularly during Thursday and Friday and over high ground with some snowfall likely," it said.
It warned that the conditions will create problems for road users.
"Frost and ice is expected in many areas by night and this will lead to tricky road conditions with the frost lingering in places late into the morning.
"Hail is expected to be quite a common sight from mid-week as the atmosphere will be very unstable with very heavy showers forming. A large contrast in temperature between the sea surface and lower atmosphere will enable deep convective showers to develop over the seas around Ireland and these will move onshore bringing hail and thunder. Hail can be very hazardous for road-users and has resulted in multiple road-collisions in recent years," said the commentary.
Met Éireann has issued a weather advisory is currently for the cold weather expected on Thursday and Friday.
It says further advisories and warnings will be issued as required during the week. The forecaster advises people to keep up to date with its warnings/advisories and check the latest weekly forecast which it will update frequently.
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